The PICS Tricks & Tips course is now available on our website for all users. Containing 5 individual lessons, this free course will take you through many of the time saving features and data entry shortcuts.
The new academic year, starting 1st August, will, as usual, bring a new version of the ILR. We will update PICS to handle the new form fully by mid-August and some changes may be available before then, e.g. to help with preparing your carry-over learners. We’ll put out further details in mid-July but be assured we are well advanced with our preparations. We also advise you to take a good look at the new ILR documents available from the ESFA – the changes are few but in some cases significant.
For a general refresher, or if you are new to cross year working in PICS, this section in our help outlines the principles and will be updated with the new year specifics in due course. You can also contact our support team as usual on email@example.com.
In the last week, two of our customers have lost their PICS data without a backup to recover from – one from a server crash and one from a cyber-attack. The help we can offer to customers in these situations is limited if there are no data backups to work with. It is critical that you take precautions to protect your data; at a minimum, customers who host PICS themselves should be taking regular backups and ensuring these are stored offsite, outside your network. If you use an external IT company to manage your systems, you must ensure that they are taking regular backups for you.
If you’d rather entrust us to look after your software and data, you may want to consider moving to our Hosting platform where we take care of backups and software updates for you in an environment that’s covered by a wide range of cyber security assurances. We are accredited to ISO 27001, hold Cyber Essentials Plus and have full Disaster Recovery policies in place, including daily backups stored in separate, secure datacentres. Call us on 01603 215000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more about Hosting.
The next instalment of our Blogcast is now available to view, highlighting selected recent changes to PICS including how to update your Apprenticeship qualification plans for the new 5% employer contribution.
The introductory offer price for our online training course, Preparing for Ofsted, is nearly at an end. On Monday 1st April the price will return to the normal price of £150 instead of £75. Access to the course lasts 3 months, so don’t worry if you haven’t got time to go through it right now, you can purchase today and come back to it later while still saving a bit of money.
Our Winter Workshops are back. These smaller and more relaxed user groups give a choice of sessions to attend with an opportunity to talk to both Pellcomp staff and other PICS users in the industry. This year, the topics covered will be based around Apprenticeships, from ILR and PICS processing to Standards recording and tracking. We will be giving tips of general use and reporting, looking at data sharing integration options you have in PICS, and taking a look at the applicant onboarding processes we have to offer.
Seats are limited, so the booking is restricted to 2 people per company, book now to avoid disappointment. Further details of the sessions breakdown will follow. We are holding one event in Leeds and the other in a new location of Stratford – London.
In a couple of weeks’ time, we’ll be releasing a significant visual change to the navigation of our web applications. Currently a lot of the main navigation is across the top of the page, which causes limitations as our applications grow and we need to add extra navigational elements. To address this, we’ll soon be changing all our web applications to have the main navigation going down the left-hand side of the page.
We’re also taking this opportunity to ensure the main navigation is consistent across our range of web applications in order to benefit those who use more than one.
Although these changes will bring benefits, we’re conscious that any change can cause additional burden on day-to-day working or result in additional work to update training material. To minimise this, we’re giving you advance warning of the change going out in the week commencing 12th March. If your require further information in order to update your internal documentation before the release date, please contact us.
The videos from our recent Apprenticeship Reforms webinars are now available online as a free, interactive course. This is a taster of things to come from our training team as we work to improve the training material available to you. This free course gives you the chance to see our recent webinar series if you weren’t able to attend them, or is an ideal opportunity to recap on them if you did.
To access the course you will need to have an account on the Pellcomp Website. Once logged in you can register for the course using the link below.
As most of you will be aware, we have been planning to deprecate the old PelAMS system for a while now. It has been superseded for a long time by the Applicants interface in the CRM/organisations part of PICS, which you can access with the same license. We previously delayed the migration for anyone still on the old system so people could get past the year end and period 3 submission. With these busier periods now behind us, this migration will be taking place on Monday 21st November.
As this has been a proposed change for a long time, we trust everyone is prepared for this migration. There was a free webinar to go through this and a recording of that can be accessed in the video library on our website.